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Author Topic: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread  (Read 2553036 times)

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Margo

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #9030 on: February 12, 2014, 06:23:23 AM »
As with friendships, what married couples called each other in private depended more upon the closeness of their relationship than on anything else. Mr. and Mrs. Bennet used formal titles when talking to each other because their marriage was not a close one. Emma's sister Isabella called her husband John by his first name or "my love" (and vice versa) because their marriage was a close one.

The other thing is that, particularly in books about people who are unmarried (such as Jane Austen novels), the main character is more likely than not going to hear people who are married referred to by their titles even by their spouses. To use Emma as an example, it wouldn't surprise me if Mr. and Mrs. Weston used their given names when talking to each other in private. Theirs was a love match, and they are presented throughout the book as happily married and close to each other. But Emma knows them as Mr. Weston and Mrs. Weston (nee Taylor), because she doesn't have the sort of relationship with either of them that allows for using their first names. So even if Mrs. Weston called her husband by his first name in private, she'd refer to him as Mr. Weston when talking to Emma, because that's how Emma knew him.

It (how people were addressed) was also something which changes quite quickly. For instance, in Emma, Mrs Elton refers to Mr Knightly as 'Knieghtly', and the fact that she does so, rather than speaking of him as 'Mr Knightly' is evidence of her vulgarity. However, in other books, male characters are referred to by the surnames and it isn't rude.
I think that in S&S, the fact that Miss Steele and Mrs Jennings refer to Marianne as 'Miss Marianne' rather than 'Miss Marianne Dashwood' is again one of the ways that Austen shows them as being vulgar and ill bred - they are using an inappropriately intimate version of her name.

In P&P, Elizabeth is addressed as 'Miss Bennett' when she visits Rosings as she is the only Bennett girl there, and Lady Catherine has never met Jane. (and if I recall correctly, Mr Darcy addresses her as 'Miss Bennett' rather than 'Miss Elizabeth Bennett' when he starts to try to win her - it shows his respect.


Dindrane

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #9031 on: February 12, 2014, 07:32:22 AM »
Men might refer to each other using just their surnames, but I don't know if there were any situations where it was appropriate for a woman to use that form of address for a man. If there were, I suspect it would be only when a close relationship was present, but I'm not sure even that would make it acceptable. Thus, Emma makes no comment whatsoever on Mr. Elton referring to Mr. Knightly as just "Knightly," but it's obnoxious of Mrs. Elton to call him that.

I don't know that Mr. Darcy switching to "Miss Bennet" was a form of respect. I think that was just what anyone would have called Elizabeth Bennet when speaking directly to her without Jane present, and, as you said, how people would talk about her when she was the eldest Miss Bennet in the area/in their acquaintance. He clearly started thinking of her as just Elizabeth at some point, since right after she accepts his proposal at the end of the book, that's what he starts calling her.


Layla Miller

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #9032 on: February 12, 2014, 07:12:54 PM »
Okay, this might not exactly be a stupid question, but it's kind of minor and it didn't seem to deserve its own thread.

There's a cheesecake shop/bakery in town that I bought some rhubarb jelly from recently, and when I opened the lid I found some mold.  I called the shop and told them, and when they checked the other jars of rhubarb jelly they found the same thing!  The owner has a lot of experience with this, and she's stumped--it doesn't seem to have happened to any other flavor.

Does anyone know if there's anything about rhubarb that can mess with jelly and cause it to go bad more quickly?  Mostly I'm asking because she promised to let me know if and when she works out the problem so I can get my rhubarb jelly fix, so I'm wondering if I should keep hoping or if it might be a lost cause.  :)
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Katana_Geldar

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #9033 on: February 12, 2014, 07:23:14 PM »
The rhubard might not have been washed properly, or stored properly. There might be ingredients in there that are mouldy that aren't in the other kinds.

Slartibartfast

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #9034 on: February 12, 2014, 08:03:55 PM »
It's also possible they didn't do the canning properly - if it's not up to the proper temp or parts (like the lids) didn't get properly boiled, it's entirely possible to get bacteria/mold spores in there.

lady_disdain

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #9035 on: February 12, 2014, 08:15:01 PM »
Weird question of the day.

I have been trying hard to make decent biscuits. Most recipes stress that everything has to be ice cold, to put all the ingredients you are not working with at that moment in the fridge, to put the butter and flour mixture back in the fridge after cutting the butter in, etc. But biscuits are a Southern US tradition and fridges are rather recent. So how were the buttery bits of goodness made in a Georgia summer before refrigeration? Based on the recipes I've read, it would have been impossible since the ingredients would be pantry cool, not fridge cold.

Dazi

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #9036 on: February 12, 2014, 08:33:52 PM »
Weird question of the day.

I have been trying hard to make decent biscuits. Most recipes stress that everything has to be ice cold, to put all the ingredients you are not working with at that moment in the fridge, to put the butter and flour mixture back in the fridge after cutting the butter in, etc. But biscuits are a Southern US tradition and fridges are rather recent. So how were the buttery bits of goodness made in a Georgia summer before refrigeration? Based on the recipes I've read, it would have been impossible since the ingredients would be pantry cool, not fridge cold.

Lard  ;)
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Katana_Geldar

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #9037 on: February 12, 2014, 09:16:13 PM »
How were soups made before blenders? I've made pea and pumpkin soups and they required blending.

PastryGoddess

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #9038 on: February 12, 2014, 09:38:31 PM »
How were soups made before blenders? I've made pea and pumpkin soups and they required blending.

Not all soups require blending.  Most soups from before electricity was common were not blended. 

Slartibartfast

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #9039 on: February 12, 2014, 09:39:54 PM »
Weird question of the day.

I have been trying hard to make decent biscuits. Most recipes stress that everything has to be ice cold, to put all the ingredients you are not working with at that moment in the fridge, to put the butter and flour mixture back in the fridge after cutting the butter in, etc. But biscuits are a Southern US tradition and fridges are rather recent. So how were the buttery bits of goodness made in a Georgia summer before refrigeration? Based on the recipes I've read, it would have been impossible since the ingredients would be pantry cool, not fridge cold.

I make biscuits all the time and I've never heard that.  The butter does have to be cold, not melted, but other than that it shouldn't make a difference (and even "a little cold" is cold enough, as long as it's crumbly and not squishy).

Katana_Geldar

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #9040 on: February 12, 2014, 09:43:23 PM »
How were soups made before blenders? I've made pea and pumpkin soups and they required blending.

Not all soups require blending.  Most soups from before electricity was common were not blended.
But surely they had pea soups before they had blenders, or were they just not smooth?

lady_disdain

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #9041 on: February 12, 2014, 09:59:28 PM »
A manual food mill will pureed soup quite nicely.

Dindrane

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #9042 on: February 12, 2014, 10:01:55 PM »
A manual food mill will pureed soup quite nicely.

And those have been around for a long time...definitely well before electricity was common available.


Mel the Redcap

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #9043 on: February 12, 2014, 10:18:54 PM »
How were soups made before blenders? I've made pea and pumpkin soups and they required blending.

Not all soups require blending.  Most soups from before electricity was common were not blended.
But surely they had pea soups before they had blenders, or were they just not smooth?

Squishing things through a sieve works quite well. :)
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Vall

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #9044 on: February 13, 2014, 04:11:19 AM »
Weird question of the day.

I have been trying hard to make decent biscuits. Most recipes stress that everything has to be ice cold, to put all the ingredients you are not working with at that moment in the fridge, to put the butter and flour mixture back in the fridge after cutting the butter in, etc. But biscuits are a Southern US tradition and fridges are rather recent. So how were the buttery bits of goodness made in a Georgia summer before refrigeration? Based on the recipes I've read, it would have been impossible since the ingredients would be pantry cool, not fridge cold.
I don't know if this is an answer but it might be a possibility.

My dad grew up in a home without running water and he was about 7 when his mom first got an ice box (not an electric refrigerator).  Before that, he says that the way they kept things like butter cool in summer was to lower it down into the well.  Also, he used to hide and cool his occasional bottles of Coke by putting them in the running stream near the house.